Thursday, December 31, 2009



“In recent years, Florencia has been subjected to mass arrests and one of the largest federal indictments of a California street gang. The Los Angeles County district attorney's office set aside a prosecutor to exclusively handle homicides committed on Florencia's turf.”

“Florencia works with Latin American cartels to smuggle cocaine, according to federal officials, and recently it became one of the first gangs to introduce the traditionally rural drug methamphetamine into the city's core. Authorities say the gang also does a thriving business in identity theft and is responsible for much of the area's bootleg DVDs.”

The Christian Science Monitor declares Mexican occupied LOS ANGELES as the “Mexican Gang Capital of American”.
Los Angeles has 500 – 1,000 gang related murder a year that cost nearly one million (gringo) dollars a year to prosecute. More murders than the entire European Union! 95% of all murder arrests are for Mexicans. They are the most violent culture in the hemisphere!
Los Angeles has a few other interesting stats under Mayor Antonio “Taco Runt’ Villaraigosa. This mayor is a member of the highly racist and fascist party of LA RAZA… “The Race”. The party dedicated to Mexican supremacy. “ANYTHING FOR THE RACE, NOTHING FOR OTHERS!”
Mexican gangs have murdered African-Americans in cold blood to “ethnically cleanse” their occupied zones.
And you wonder why Barack OBAMA and the La Raza Dems are once again pushing for amnesty? Even if they don’t achive a legal “amnesty, things will not change! The LA RAZA DEMS already have 38 million “cheap” labor illegals, and more pouring over the OPEN AND UNDEFENDED BORDERS every day.
The Mexican invasion and occupation could be ended in one day by putting employers of illegals in jails. Two that employ illegals that would make a good start are LA RAZA DEM DIANNE FEINSTEIN, who hires illegals at her S. F hotel, and LA RAZA PELOSI who hires illegals at her Napa winery!
Lou Dobbs Tonight
And there are some 800,000 gang members in this country: That’s more than the combined number of troops in our Army and Marine Corps. These gangs have become one of the principle ways to import and distribute drugs in the United States. Congressman David Reichert joins Lou to tell us why those gangs are growing larger and stronger, and why he’s introduced legislation to eliminate the top three international drug gangs.
Lou Dobbs Tonight
Monday, September 28, 2009

And T.J. BONNER, president of the National Border Patrol Council, will weigh in on the federal government’s decision to pull nearly 400 agents from the U.S.-Mexican border. As always, Lou will take your calls to discuss the issues that matter most-and to get your thoughts on where America is headed.
Living the American dream, with a gang twist
Some members of Florencia 13, one of L.A.'s largest gangs, live a suburban, settled lifestyle with good jobs. But they are proud of their ties to the gang, which they call 'the neighborhood.'
By Scott Gold
December 31, 2009
In a working-class neighborhood east of the Los Angeles city limits, Roberto Becerra ducked under the eave of the Spanish-tile roof he recently rebuilt for his mother and stepped into the RV parked in the driveway.

He's been working on the camper for months now. New carpeting. A TV on a swivel. Little houseplants on the bookshelves, tied to the wall so they don't fall over. The thing's got some years on it; the sunset-style paint job screams 1970s. "But it's coming along," he said, brushing his hand along the new drapes.

Becerra's is a thoroughly suburban American life. Sort of.

He's nuts about hockey and Oktoberfest. He works as a foreman on high-end construction sites. He's got a kid on the way, and when he has time he jots a few words in a baby book. When asked to describe his reaction when he learned of the pregnancy, he wrote: "Daddy told every one of his employees."

Look closer, though, and you'll find a curious key chain hanging from a nail on one wall of the house. It's the hand of a skeleton, the fingers contorted to form the letter "F."

There's another "F" next to Becerra's right eye. Another on the hockey jersey he bought his girlfriend recently. Another on the bill of the hard hat he wears at work -- reminders, everywhere, of his allegiance to one of the largest and most confounding gangs in the metropolis: Florencia 13.

In recent years, Florencia has been subjected to mass arrests and one of the largest federal indictments of a California street gang. The Los Angeles County district attorney's office set aside a prosecutor to exclusively handle homicides committed on Florencia's turf.

Once gangs evolve into full-fledged criminal enterprises, authorities often saddle them with court injunctions that limit their movements and activities. Florencia has three such injunctions.

But according to law enforcement officials and gang members, Florencia has grown ever more powerful and influential, subsuming smaller gangs and staying ahead of the police by diversifying its criminal pursuits.

According to gang members, Florencia now has 46 active "cliques" and as many as 7,000 members.

Other large gangs -- such as 18th Street and Mara Salvatrucha, which rival or exceed Florencia's size -- are composed of loosely affiliated cliques scattered across a wide area. But most of Florencia is clustered in a contiguous area that now includes not just Florence-Firestone, its historical domain, but Huntington Park, Bell, Walnut Park and stretches of South L.A. and Watts.

The cluster is five miles wide and as deep as three miles -- where a single gang is dominant, where kids can often be heard shouting "F-1-3!" That scope presents law enforcement with a daunting challenge, because the gang has become virtually synonymous with the community itself, particularly among Latino men.

"They are so deeply rooted," said Adan Torres, a veteran Los Angeles County sheriff's detective who has devoted much of his career to policing Florencia. "You can't go on any block without encountering one of them. . . . The homeowners are former gangbangers who made it, but now their kids are gangbanging. It's a cycle."

Indeed, many are born into it.

When Sonny Ontiveros was a boy, both of his parents were sent to prison; his father was killed there, and his mother served 15 years for robbery. Ontiveros, now 34 and a father of five who works the graveyard shift as a machine operator, said that he was, in effect, raised by Florencia -- "the only familia I ever had."

Florencia has become both a menacing street gang and a way of life. In that void, there are hundreds of veteranos like Roberto Becerra -- proud, unapologetic members of Florencia, yet seemingly uninvolved in the gang's criminal enterprises.

Becerra is known to all as Flaco, the nickname he has scrawled on the ceiling of his otherwise spotless RV. He lives a content, uncluttered life in an odd netherworld, a 43-year-old man with "TOWN DRUNK" tattooed across his knuckles and two hands clasped in prayer etched on his chest, a gang member with a day job and a business card.

Born in the '50s

Oh, Florence, I love you so

Oh, Florence, be true to me

"Florence," The Paragons, 1957

Borrowing its name from East Florence Avenue, Florencia began in the 1950s as a neighborhood protector near Roosevelt Park, a bustling, diverse enclave of bungalow-style housing built to serve the workers at the nearby factories. It was a time of fedoras and zoot suits, of car clubs and doo-wop music like that Paragons tune, which was adopted as the gang's theme song.

But in the ensuing years, Florencia moved into increasingly serious criminal enterprises, particularly after becoming an ally of the Mexican Mafia, a powerful prison-based "supergang" that shapes much of the state's gang activity.

Authorities say several ranking members of Florencia are also members of the Mexican Mafia. "La Eme," they say, has assisted Florencia's efforts to control the flow of drugs into a sizable chunk of L.A. It has also made Florencia famously disciplined. Members are expected to stay in top physical condition; that way, if they're arrested, they can assist in maintaining control of the prison yards, according to those familiar with the gang.

Florencia works with Latin American cartels to smuggle cocaine, according to federal officials, and recently it became one of the first gangs to introduce the traditionally rural drug methamphetamine into the city's core. Authorities say the gang also does a thriving business in identity theft and is responsible for much of the area's bootleg DVDs.

'I don't claim'

Late one Saturday, police drew their guns and raced to surround a tiny house in South L.A., part of a sweep of suspected Florencia members. Inside, officers found red beans cooking on the stove. On one wall was a needlepoint sign that read: "Love grows happy hearts."

They also found Cesar "Demon" Ortiz, 31, an alleged Florencia member with a history of drug, theft and assault charges.

"Who do you claim?" Officer Matt Ensley asked him, street vernacular for asking someone's gang affiliation. "I don't claim," Ortiz said.

Ensley looked under his T-shirt, where the word "FLORENCIA" was tattooed in block letters. "You got it on your stomach!" Ensley said.

"Yeah. But I don't walk around without my shirt on," Ortiz replied sheepishly. He told the officers he'd gone straight since prison, that he was a father now, not a gang member.

"I just got mixed up with the wrong people," Ortiz said.

"But you got the name 'Demon,' " Ensley said.

"I didn't pick it."

"But you had to earn it."


Sweeps are commonplace in Florencia strongholds -- and enormously controversial.

Major investigations have sent scores of ranking Florencia members to prison in recent years, including a 2007 indictment of 102 men linked to the gang -- an action described at the time by federal officials as "the largest gang takedown in American history."

Police acknowledge that a small percentage of documented Florencia members commit the majority of the gang's serious crimes, but they make no apologies for the crackdown.

"We've gotten the main players, the most violent players, out of the game," said Torres, the sheriff's detective. "In 10 years, there is going to be a major difference."

A distinct clientele

In Florencia strongholds, many argue that young Latino men are treated harshly and unfairly -- and that the area needs jobs, better schools and youth programs, not intensive suppression.

The gang, for instance, has long held carwashes to raise money for one another; when somebody dies, the gang often pays for funeral costs. That tradition has faded because the injunctions' strictest provisions prohibit gang members from associating in public. Gang members also contend that the police crackdown has hamstrung them -- leaving them unable to defend and protect their neighborhoods.

One recent afternoon, Rene "Scrappy" Suarez Jr., 22, strolled along Pacific Avenue, in Huntington Park. The stores there are forthright about their clientele. One sells boots adorned with an image of Jesus Malverde, a legendary bandit who has become a folk "saint" among some drug traffickers. When Suarez entered another store and inquired about jeans, the saleswoman -- knowing that most Florencianos wear their pants as baggy as possible -- offered him a size-46 waist for his 32-inch frame.

Suarez said he began selling crack for Florencia at the age of 12, with a Beretta pistol in his waistband. He later became a "gunner" -- "more muscle than hustle," he said -- because it was a "more valuable trade."

More recently, Suarez says he's put the criminal life behind him and has been instrumental in developing an "understanding" between Florencia and 18th Street, a traditional rival -- something the police were never able to do, he is quick to point out.

After leaving one store, Suarez spied a piece of graffiti on a lamppost left by someone from another neighborhood. It was, he said, an affront from an outside gang that would never have occurred if Florencia had been left to its own devices to patrol the neighborhood.

"If there was any illegal business going on in this neighborhood, it was coming from us," he said. "Nobody did anything -- robbing a liquor store, nothing -- without us. It was tightly run, with pride. . . . . If you're going to harm my neighborhood, I'm going to harm you."

'It's who you are'

No matter how much pressure is applied to Florencia, men like Roberto "Flaco" Becerra, who act not as criminals but as elders and mentors, will continue to be the tendons connecting the gang with the community itself.

There is a Flaco, it seems, in every Latino gang in L.A.; it means "skinny" in Spanish. This Flaco was an excellent student, but his interest waned toward the end of high school. He was arrested for the first time as a teenager, for shoplifting magazines, and left school shortly before graduation. The gang -- he calls it "the neighborhood" -- came calling about the same time. He was brought in with a traditional 13-second beating that left him with a busted lip and a broken rib. It was, he said, simply what you did.

"It just happens," he said. "It's just your neighborhood. It's who you are."

His parallel lives began.

He began working on construction sites and was soon asked to run portions of the jobs. Today he is something akin to a superintendent, with 20 employees on several sites, most in the Hollywood area.

He is entrusted to hand out paychecks to his employees on Fridays -- and entrusted to count the 13 seconds when a new member is "courted" into the gang with a beating: "One one thousand, two one thousand . . . "

"But my neighborhood is with me too. And it's never going to go away. Never."
“Senior White House aides privately have assured Latino activists that the president will back legislation next year to provide a path to citizenship for the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants living in the United States.”

“In addition to the citizenship provision, the emerging plan will emphasize efforts to secure U.S. borders against those trying to cross illegally” SECURING THE BORDERS? THAT MEANS KEEPING THEM OPEN FOR THE EASE OF ILLEGALS!


Flores drug indictment gives clues to Mexican cartels' networks in the U.S.
By Steve Fainaru and William Booth
Thursday, December 31, 2009; A06
The Flores brothers had never looked like much in the eyes of local narcotics agents. But by the time it all came crashing down this year, the drug-distribution network allegedly run by the 28-year-old twins from the Mexican American barrios of Chicago was one of the largest and most sophisticated ever seen in the U.S. heartland, according to interviews and federal indictments.
Pedro and Margarito Flores allegedly operated as an American annex to a major Mexican drug mafia, and their arrest and the dismantling of their purported network opened a window on how powerful Mexican cartels operate in the United States, distributing cocaine and heroin with the corporate efficiency of UPS, while back home competitors are tortured and beheaded.
The fortunes of the Flores twins changed because the war on the cartels being waged in Mexico with U.S. help has reshaped the criminal landscape in both countries, generating unprecedented violence but also contributing to the kinds of vicious splits and betrayals that helped in the brothers' arrests, according to narcotics agents and federal indictments.
The sprawling drug operation was essentially a $700 million-a-year distributorship for the Sinaloa cartel, the largest criminal organization in Mexico. It used tractor-trailers to import two tons of cocaine each month for distribution from Chicago warehouses, with cash proceeds shrink-wrapped and shipped back across the border.
The crackdown launched by Mexican President Felipe Calderón has cost more than 16,000 lives and been widely criticized in both countries as ineffective in reining in the drug barons and slowing the flow of drugs into the United States. But the campaign has exposed networks such as the one allegedly run by the Flores brothers, which shipped cocaine from Los Angeles to Chicago and then distributed it to cities across the Midwest, according to interviews and the indictments.
Other than the indictments, few court papers have been filed in the case. The Flores brothers are in U.S. custody; attempts to reach their attorneys were unsuccessful.
Chicago is hardly alone as a home to Mexican cartels; the traffickers operate in 230 U.S. cities, the Justice Department says. But the competition in Chicago might be unusually fierce, with each of the five major Mexican cartels vying for business.
"Much like any legitimate corporation, the drug organizations utilize Chicago as both a distribution and trans-shipment point for their product," Stephen A. Luzinski, acting special agent-in-charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration office here, said in an interview. "The extensive accessibility to various modes of transportation, as well as the large and diverse population with an established customer base, makes Chicago an ideal location as a hub."
The family business
Pedro and Margarito Flores were born into a Mexican immigrant family with strong ties to the narcotics trade. Chicago detectives say their father ran drugs for the Sinaloa cartel, as did an older brother. The family melded into the culture in rough neighborhoods such as Little Village and Pilsen, where the Latin Kings and Two-Six gangs fight for turf.
The brothers eventually took over a barbershop and a Mexican restaurant called Mama's Kitchen. They moved to a more expensive neighborhood and drove better cars. But unlike in Mexico, where high-level traffickers are household names, the twins had low profiles.
In Chicago, "you are only as good as your connection," said a former drug dealer who served 10 years in prison and spoke on the condition of anonymity because of security concerns. And the Flores brothers reportedly had the best connections in town.
Authorities said the brothers worked for two factions of the Sinaloa cartel. One was headed by Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán, the most wanted man in Mexico, recently named by Forbes magazine as the 41st most-powerful person in the world. The other was by Arturo Beltrán Leyva, whose self-appointed nickname -- the Boss of All Bosses -- frequently appeared on messages displayed next to mutilated corpses.
Factional trade, warfare
As described in court documents, the brothers' reach extended deep into Mexico, where Guzmán, Beltrán Leyva and their associates used Boeing 747 jets, private aircraft, submarines, container ships, fishing vessels and speedboats to consolidate enormous shipments of cocaine from Central and South America, including Colombia and Panama.
The Sinaloa cartel in Mexico was tasked with getting the drugs across the border for pickup in a warehouse outside Los Angeles. The Flores brothers allegedly employed dozens of operators to bring the drugs north, including truck drivers who concealed the contraband amid shipments of fruit, vegetables and other consumer goods, and off-loaded cocaine and heroin in the Chicago area at nondescript warehouses, condominiums and brick duplexes managed by their criminal gang. The drugs were split into smaller quantities and "fronted" to customers, who would pay after they sold the contraband on the street.
But the two Sinaloa factions split last year over the Mexican government's arrest of Beltrán Leyva's brother. The resulting violence consumed several Mexican states and, ultimately, Chicago, as the factions fought over "control of lucrative narcotics trafficking routes into the United States, and the loyalty of wholesale narcotics customers, including the Flores Brothers," according to an indictment filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
The brothers were said to be caught in the middle, with both Sinaloa factions threatening violence against them to maintain control over the critical distribution network. Ultimately, U.S. authorities were able to infiltrate the purported Flores crew, setting up sham cocaine sales to make dozens of arrests and to seize more than three metric tons of cocaine.
Pressure on both sides
It is not clear whether the Flores brothers are cooperating with the authorities, but they face life in prison if convicted, and authorities are seeking the forfeiture of more than $1.8 billion. In August, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the U.S. attorney for the district, called the indictments "the most significant drug importation conspiracies ever charged in Chicago."
Authorities and people familiar with the drug trade say violence in Mexico and increased enforcement -- symbolized by the Flores case -- are having a dramatic effect on Chicago street sales, at least for now. The wholesale price for a kilo of cocaine -- about 2.2 pounds -- has surged in the past 18 months, from $18,000 to $29,000 and often more, according to authorities.
U.S. officials declined to discuss specifics of the case or whether information from the investigation helped lead Mexican authorities to Beltrán Leyva, who was killed this month during a two-hour gun and grenade battle with Mexican forces in the city of Cuernavaca.
But Anthony Placido, chief of intelligence for the DEA, said in an interview that pressure on both sides of the border has forced the cartels to rely increasingly on inexperienced operators such as the Flores twins.
"There have always been gatekeepers -- people who use their familial relationships to facilitate the movement of drugs across the border," Placido said. "Those people used to be gods, and they would control an area for years. Now they often last months before they are arrested or assassinated.
"What that creates is opportunities for a 28-year-old who . . . isn't worried about dying," he said.